S1 E1 Quali Health – bootstrapping while changing the world

Quali Health
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Quali Health – quality, affordable healthcare

Healthcare, like education, are key elements to a thriving economy. Unfortunately in South Africa, public healthcare is over capacitated and private healthcare excludes the majority of South Africans. With only 18% of the South African population covered by medical aid, and only 14% comprehensively, this has lead to long queues, short staffed facilities, broken down equipment, medication shortages. Dr Nthabiseng Legoete wants to change that with her new clinic – Quail Health which she opened up in May 2016 in Diepsloot. In this interview she tells us about how she started on this journey, her challenges and what keeps her going.

Show Notes:

  • Dr Legoete tells us about her backstory, why she became a doctor and why she started Quali Health [01:02]
  • Diepsloot has a population of over 1 million people [3:30]
  • Quali health is also about service, empowering and employing local staff [4:30]
  • Surprising number of trained healthcare workers by government, who are unemployed [6:30]
  • Her nursing staff are more comfortable due to the convenience of working in their own community and having the ability of working in their own language. [06:42]
  • Dr Legoete finds innovative ways to incentivise her staff whilst keeping her guests happy [7:09]
  • Hours are 08:00 – 20:00 [08:58]
  • Quali health includes a bundle fee of R250 that includes consultation, medication and other treatments [10:30]
  • 30% of their current patients are pre-natal[10:50]
  • Target market is employed uninsured [12:11]
  • No queuing at QualiHealth [13:33]
  • Technology has been key in keeping costs down by streamlining processes [14:30]
  • Dr Legoete explains the process followed when a patient visits Quali Health [18:10]
  • Dr Legoete adapted the model for medical requests such as family planning and flu vaccinations, demonstrating the importance of being adaptable to what your market wants without compromising on your value proposition [21:00]
  • Funding an issue and keeps her up at night. She is bootstrapping and relying on patients to keep the facility going. [22:25]
  • There is not a porosity of ideas in South Africa, funding is the issue [23:17]
  • She has found some challenges as most stakeholders both within and outside of the industry prefer the status quo [24:39]
  • Some unexpected costs arose such as security, putting more pressure on Dr Legoete and the model’s success [25:05]
  • Despite the thorough research conducted prior to launching, Dr Legoete still insists on continuously updated their users’ profile, which will enable them to continuously deliver a quality service [26:13]
  • After only 12 days in operation, they are serving on average 30 patients a day, with a peak of 58 patients. This compared to their break even of 62 patients per day is promising [28:54]
  • Dr Legoete tells us how her launch was perfect but how that didn’t stop her [31:30]
  • The power of connections helped Dr Legoete find her facility’s location, at the centre with Roots Butchery in Diepsloot [35:10]
  • Dr Legoete doesn’t have a partner but she has mentors to keep her going [36:31]
  • Dr Legoete used focus groups to test out her name, logo and her value proposition, which changed some of her initial assumptions [37:47]
  • Networks proved to be quite important again for Quali Health’s launch [40:10]
  • Dr Legoete does plan to expand but at a later stage [43:30]
  • Her plan is to be hands on initially, slowly weening herself off the day to day operations and doing more business development [44:10]
  • In a year’s time, she wants to operate at full capacity which is over 400 patients per day and to have opened two other sites [45:05]

Significant quotes:

Really that’s the rationale behind Quali Health to provide quality, accessible, convenient healthcare for people that have been neglected.” 02:51
It’s easier to get a piece of chicken, fried chicken in Diepsloot than it is to access healthcare.” 04:05
Patients are referred to as guests.” 07:30
There is an influx of prenatal patients who want to see their babies, because they have never seen them before.” 11:40
You don’t queue at Quali Health.” 13:30
Initially I thought I was offering affordable healthcare, now I realise I am offering quality healthcare that is affordable.” 16:54
There is a porosity of ideas, funding is an issue.” 23:40
“If all I do is make people question the cost in the health care and help people drop the cost a little bit, I would have done my job.” 30:15
For us to have been 12 days operative and have already seen much more than 200 patients, and to be averaging the numbers we are, its pretty good.” 30:45
Start even if you don’t have all the elements.” 31:09
The risk of not starting is higher than starting at 100%.” 31:18
Its a lonely road, a difficult road and your passion is the only thing that will sustain you.” 31:40

Links Mentioned:

You can check out Quali Health’s website: http://www.qualihealth.co.za

Find out more about the Hustle Flow, make comments, ask questions and subscribe to our newsletter: http://www.thehustleflow.com

The song used in the podcast is The Passion HiFi – Mo’ Blues.

The QualiHealth team celebrates their first 100+ patient day at the end of July 2016.

The QualiHealth team celebrates their first 100+ patient day at the end of July 2016.

About the author, Charlotte

Charlotte, or Charlie as she likes her friends to call her, is what you would call a multipotentialite or a jack of all trades if you must. She been an auditor, an English teacher, a consultant, an executive assistant and product manager. She loves to read, watch shows, learn, tries to exercise, eats a lot, travels and tries out new things.

Entrepreneurship excites her not only because of its capability to bring joy (read freedom) to entrepreneurs, but also because it can vastly improve a country or continent for the better.


  1. Jane on November 30, 2016 at 11:00

    yesterday it was my first consultation as we have moved ( Riverside view) closed to diepsloot and I was welcomed by a friendly staff. Keep up the good work. Thank you so much

    • Charlotte Luzuka on December 5, 2016 at 11:26

      Hi Jane,

      That is wonderful news. I will pass on the compliments to Nthabiseng 🙂

  2. Marsh on December 2, 2016 at 20:40

    Nthabiseng is a visionary. This concept is amazing. I see this unfolding throughout the rest of the country.

    • Charlotte Luzuka on December 5, 2016 at 11:26

      Hi Marsh

      Yes she is. I cannot wait to see it in every City / Town across South Africa and the rest of the continent 🙂

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